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Belton earns Big Ten honor

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior running back Bill Belton (Sicklerville, N.J.) has been honored by the Big Ten Conference for his career-high 201-yard rushing effort in Penn State's 24-17 overtime win over Illinois last Saturday.

Belton was selected Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He becomes the fourth Nittany Lion to earn conference honors this season, joining placekicker Sam Ficken, quarterback Christian Hackenberg and defensive end C.J. Olaniyan. Belton shares the Big Ten weekly honor with Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson.

Hackenberg was selected Athlon Sports' Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time this season for his efforts in the win over the Illini. He has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week from the conference office three times this year.

Belton delivered the first 200-yard rushing game by a Nittany Lion since Larry Johnson ran for 279 yards against Michigan State in 2002. Belton crushed his previous career-high of 108 in the win over Eastern Michigan on Sept. 7. His 36 carries also were a career-best and the most by a Nittany Lion since Zach Zwinak had 36 last season against Wisconsin.

A former first-team All-South Jersey standout at Winslow Township High School, Belton got the Nittany Lions on the scoreboard first with a five-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry against Illinois and also caught two passes for eight yards, giving him a career-high 209 all-purpose yards. He eclipsed 100 rushing yards for the third time in his career.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times